Les Paul Smartwood Project: Complete!

So back in, oh maybe ’99 or ’00, I got this Les Paul Smartwood.  I guess it’s technically a “Smartwood Studio”.  I believe the wood on this one is Peroba, but I really don’t know anymore.  I do know that it was ugly out of the box.  I got it for a very low price because nobody wanted it and it was seemingly built on a Friday afternoon.  Frets were all overhanging, setup was horrid, and again, it was ugly.

Here’s the only shot I have of the guitar kind of in its original state.

les paul smartwood studio
les paul smartwood studio


 Promptly stripped and sold all the gold hardware, ripped out the nasty frets, bought new hardware/electronics, started to paint… and then it sat.

And sat…

Until about two weeks ago.  July 2013, probably 13-14 years later.

The only real inspiration for finishing was a pretty logical one, actually playing guitar.  Been getting together with a few buddies regularly to play; myself and the other guitar player both had fender-ish single coil guitars into fender-ish amps.  I showed up with my Gretsch from time to time and it was a little magical with some contrast in sound.  Got me thinking of how much better it’d be with a solid body humbucker guitar.

Oh, I have one!

Shit!  It’s in 50 pieces.

So I got to work.  Put in new frets, 6105 wire that is actually round and not sanded down to a pancake like Gibson does.  Painted, pumpkin orange on top, black on the sides/back.  Threw on hardware, all chrome.  Pickups – Duncan JB/Jazz (which was a cool combo when I bought them, back in ’01), which I don’t love but they sound good enough through my setup.  Amazingly, it all works and looks pretty okay.

les paul smartwood studio 1

 

les paul smartwood studio 2

 

 

 

 

 

Jay

Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter

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Author: Jay

Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter

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